Which of These Top 5 Insurance Stocks have the Strongest Earnings Trends?

Earnings trends are extremely important when evaluating stocks. At Wall St. Cheat Sheet, we view increasing earnings quarter-over-quarter as a simple way to gauge whether costs and the business model are stable. Then we like to analyze whether the company is outperforming peers in the sector. This is what we call the “E-Squared” investment analysis (‘E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter’ + ‘E = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector’).

Stocks with improving earnings metrics are worthy of your extra attention. Click here to discover our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now!

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to how these top 5 insurance stocks rank via earnings trends:

Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU): Current Price $57.60

Fiscal Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 28,990 32,380 38,200 49,040 81,130
Diluted EPS ($) -2.53 7.63 5.75 7.22 0.9045

A nice set of results from Prudential, and excellent growth on the top line and EPS during 2011 and 2012.

Next, our CHEAT SHEET investing framework asks us to drill down to the recent quarterly data:

Quarter Dec. 31, 2011 Mar. 31, 2012 Jun. 30, 2012 Sep. 30, 2012 Dec. 31, 2012
Revenue ($) in millions 11,700 9,623 16,140 13,140 46,140
Diluted EPS ($) 1.36 -2.09 4.64 -1.41 -0.45

We’ll drop Prudential right away, seeing its negative EPS in the latest quarter, though revenue has made a quantum jump…